Townhouses in Tokyo, with parking at the first level. Still a
pleasant environment, but parking dominates the street view.
This can be tolerable, although
less than ideal. By the time we get to a higher density format,
like an apartment building, we have to provide more parking
somehow. Ideally we can avoid the outdoor parking lot, as this
is terribly ugly, and obviously contrary to our goal of higher
density that motivated us to make an apartment building in the
In the case of the apartment building, and also the townhouse to
large degree, I think the way forward lies with some form of
decked shared parking. "Shared" means that there is one large
parking garage, not a separate garage with a separate entrance
for each resident. "Decked" means that the parking area has a
concrete ceiling, and on top of the parking garage, you can have
some sort of pleasant and useful space, perhaps a building,
courtyard, garden, patio, or some other lovely element of the
On the street level, you would see just one entrance/exit,
although there might be parking for hundreds of cars inside.
This eliminates any need for a "wall of garage doors." In terms
of land use, we have no "Non-Place" because the parking areas
are all decked, and above the parking, we have some sort of
Traditional City Place.
Place and Non-Place
We want the street level view to be some sort of Place. The
street level is the ideal spot for some sort of retail
establishment. You could also have some sort of inviting and
attractive exterior of a house or office building. What we
absolutely don't want is a blank wall -- that is no better than
the wall of garage doors that we are trying to avoid.
Apparently, this sort of thing has already become common for
townhouses in Canada, and for larger buildings in Texas (of all
places). Here's my drawing of how you could use this idea to
create an apartment building which is very much like the
courtyarded apartment buildings of central Paris, but which
includes ample parking for all residents, and also retail at
One side of the building can be
adjacent to an "arterial street" which has a dedicated
automobile roadway and sidewalks. The other three sides can
be Really Narrow Streets, i.e. pedestrian streets of 15-25
feet wide. The height of the building is six stories, a
common Traditional City height throughout Europe.
If you replace the six floors of apartments with three-story
townhouses, then all the townhouses can have a nice backyard
like Julianne Moore, and not have the front of the townhouse
dominated by a two-car garage door.
20, 2011: Let's Take a Trip to Julianne Moore's House
In this way, we can accommodate quite a lot of parking,
while keeping a form that is quite close to our Traditional
City ideal, and also maintaining our goal of eliminating as
much Non-Place as possible.
Also, we can not only provide parking for residents, we can
provide parking for visitors and residents of other
buildings. The buildings adjacent to arterial streets, with
dedicated automobile roadways, can have lots of parking,
while the buildings nearby might have no parking at all.
Thus, we can create a neighborhood in the true Traditional
City manner, with no parking whatsoever, a true
pedestrian-centric Place, but still have ample parking
within a brief walk. Indeed, no cars would want to go there,
because there is no place to park!
All the parking you want
and ... a neighborhood that looks like this!
No autos here, but you can have a building nearby with
shared decked parking.
Click Here for the
Traditional City/Heroic Materialism Archive
A true pedestrian environment.